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Open Letter to Father Gilles Desjardins, SSS

Enlightened cousin
"Father Gilles Desjardins? Yeah, he's my cousin! Almost as progressive as me!"
(Source unknown)

Good day Father,

I'm writing to apologize for the unacceptable behavior I had last Friday in the Très-Saint-Sacrement church, during your homily. You certainly remember that you were saying:

"Some people think that our current Bishop, Cardinal Ouellet, is too conservative (and I agree). These people say that the new Pope, Benedict XVI, isn't better than the previous one, because he's also too conservative..."

It's at that moment that, as you know, I yelled as loud as I could:

"He's not conservative, he's Catholic!

(Note to anglophone readers: I'm not sure how to translate "enfoiré", but it's not something your Mom would approve of, if she understood French.) I'm aware that a good Catholic shouldn't publicly insult his superior, and I apologize.

I also heard you say later on during your homily that we had to remain faithful to the Pope. I almost laughed, given your track record:

1) Homilies made by laypersons. The last time I dared speak out in a church was when you proudly announced that: "The homily will now be given by Ms. Hélène Boileau, Pastoral Associate." I had screamed that Redemptionis Sacramentum didn't permit this, but you had told the whole congregation that this document didn't have authority, and that we didn't need to comply with it.

2) General absolution. You gave general absolution many times, in total contradiction with the explicit orders of the Pope. I remember hearing you say and even repeat, during the celebration of Reconciliation after General absolution had been forbidden by Cardinal Ouellet, that we shouldn't accuse, in individual confession, sins that had already been forgiven by a general absolution. Exactly the opposite of Church teachings! [CCC, #1483]

3) Covert attacks on Transubstantiation. I went to see you in person with a copy of the text Transubstantiation, or Trans-Protestantization? You told me there was absolutely nothing wrong with the little flyer you had distributed in your church. I asked you to call the Cardinal to see what he thought about it, but of course you refused!

4) Stifling silences. You claim to be faithful to the Pope, but I've never heard you give a homily which gave a clear explanation and a vigorous and enthusiastic defence of the teachings of the Catholic Church concerning topics like:

- Papal infallibility;
- the condemnation of contraception;
- abortion, that abominable crime;
- the condemnation of sodomy;
- the impossibility for women to be ordained, and the impossibility for Catholics to have another opinion on that topic;
- Etc., etc.

5) Public ridicule of parishioners. Do you remember those two women (a mother and her young teenage daughter) who used to come to your church every Sunday? Do you remember when you upbraided them publicly during one of your homilies? You ridiculed them because they wore a mantilla over their heads, just like the Bible says they should [1Co 11:6]. You ridiculed them because they recieved communion on the tongue instead of in their hands, which they have the right to do [Redemptionis Sacramentum, #91-92], and you ridiculed them because they lined up in front of a Priest to receive communion, instead of an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, even though you were the one keeping Priests sitting in the apse, while sending out laypersons to distribute communion [Redemptionis Sacramentum, #157]. You didn't give names, but in a church full of senior citizens, those two young women wearing veils stuck out, so everybody knew who you were talking about. They never did come back. I still feel bad because I didn't stand up for them.

6) The anti-promotion of the Catechism. The Catholic Church has just published the Compendium of the Catechism. A beautiful Christmas gift! Instead of starting a campaign to put a copy of the Catechism in each household of your parish, you never talk about it. On the other hand, when it's time to sign petitions against the privatization of drinking water in some Third-World countries, you're all excited and you ask all your parishioners to go sign the petition at the back of the church. Do you have a little table at the back of the church where you sell, after each Mass, copies of the Catechism? Nevertheless, you told us clearly that there were people at the back who were selling Christmas cards, and that we should buy to encourage them. You also give your explicit permission to ads on your billboards which promote the sale of weight-loss products, or opera concerts, etc. But I've never seen an ad promoting the official teachings of the Catholic Church!

To conclude, I'd like to ask you if you want to come with me at the back of your church, next Sunday, so we can hand out, to your parishioners, a little flyer telling them to go buy themselves a Catechism, in order to get to know better the divine teachings of Jesus Christ?


Stefan Jetchick


Note to readers of this open letter: Remember "Audiatur Et Altera Pars", i.e. remember you're only getting one side of the story in this text. To get the other side:

Paroisse du Très-Saint-Sacrement
P. Gilles Desjardins, S.S.S., curé
1330, Chemin Sainte-Foy
Québec, Quebec
G1S 2N5
(418) 527-2555

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